President Barack Obama boarded Air Force One at Boeing Field at 9:30 Wednesday morning after a pair of fundraisers and a night’s sleep in the Seattle/ Bellevue area. The President departed en route to New Orleans for more campaign events.
Obama’s Northwest trek began Tuesday in Portland, where he spoke to supporters. After two campaign events in Portland, Obama headed to Seattle for two more fundraisers.
The fundraisers there included a $35,000-per-person roundtable event with business leaders followed by a 200-person reception at the Singals' home costing about $5,000 per ticket.
Onlookers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the President’s motorcade, many carrying signs.
One woman held sign wishing Obama a happy birthday (it is Aug. 4). Another was holding a sign saying, "Drink the Kool-Aid: Only $35,000." Across the street from a woman with a sign saying "We love Obama" was one with a sign saying, "Obama sucks."
Jim Sinegal introduced the president at the evening fundraiser, saying Obama has increased America’s reputation, turned the economy around and passed changes to the health care system. Sinegal called that bill “arguably the most important piece of social legislation in the last 40 years,” to a loud applause from the audience.
Obama opened his speech by praising Sinegal and Costco, which he called “the story of what America is all about.”
Then he launched into his stump speech, the bulk of which was focused on what he called the choice of the election.
He described in broad terms his vision and that of opponent Mitt Romney. He said his opponent would extend the tax cuts for the wealthy enacted by President George W. Bush, “voucherize” Medicare and reduce investments in science research.
“The debate in this campaign is going to be whether we continue down that road to progress or whether we take a sharp turn back toward those policies that I believe got us back into this mess in the first place,” Obama said.
The president also noted several other areas of policy differences, including abortion, gay rights and torture.
Obama closed by responding to “people saying I’m trying to punish success.” A recent Romney ad highlighted a statement by Obama that businesses have benefited from government help.
“I want to promote success,” he said, although he noted that every successful person has gotten help on their way to success.
Obama also noted that his mother attended nearby Mercer High School at one time.